Every Thursday of the school year for the past 13 months, Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) students fill 50 Starfish Backpacks with nutritious food for hungry elementary and middle-school kids to take home on the weekend.
This Thursday, June 23, will be the last shift at ACSS until next September. But come next September, the ACSS high school students will return to stuff backpacks again.
“Hungry kids can’t learn,” says Bev Dornan, out-going president of the Aldergrove Rotary Club.
“It’s an unfortunate fact that there are children in Aldergrove whose families, for a number of reasons, can’t provide enough food for them. We’re grateful to all the supporters of this program who have enabled Starfish to continue and it’s wonderful to see kids pitching in to help other kids. The students from ACSS have really made a difference in the lives of those children who need this kind of support.”
John Pusic, principal of ACSS notes that the Starfish Program has had a positive impact on his students too.
“In the program’s first year, our Advance Alternate students were very excited about being involved in something beneficial for younger students who are in less fortunate circumstances. Similarly, this year’s hairdressing program students have taken on the role with excitement and energy. They are motivated to help others,”
Since it started in April 2015, the Starfish Backpack program in Aldergrove has provided over 1,500 Starfish backpacks to hungry children in three Aldergrove schools. Over 6,750 pounds of food have been given out.
At a direct annual cost of $525 per backpack, caring community individuals and organizations have donated just under $37,000 — and that’s just for this year. Next year’s school year is fully funded too.
For more information on the Starfish Backpack program and how to get involved, visit www.aldergrovestarfish.ca
ACSS hairdressing program students have been helping fill the Starfish Backpacks every week for young students to take home on the weekends.